POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission recently met, hearing updates on the Rivers to Ridges program.
Commissioners in attendance were Sam Nibert and Tracy Doolittle along with County Clerk Diana Cromley and County Administrator John Gerlach.
Denny Bellamy, Mason County Tourism director and chairman of Rivers to Ridges, explained the Rivers to Ridges program is a combined tourism effort of Mason and Putnam counties. The Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail booklets, which will be focusing on recreational activities and featuring all parks and trails within the two counties, will be released soon, 5,000 copies will be printed. Also, a guide on the quilt trails is to be released soon as well.
A major project this program is currently working on is bringing the two counties into the realm of adventure tourism by creating a combining bike trail and water trail. The bike trail will be made after the completion of the new Route 35 in 2020 as the path will be on the old Route 35 and lead into the Point Pleasant Bike Trail. The water trail, which could be created at any time, would begin at the Buffalo water front and end at the Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant. Along the way, signs will show where creeks stem off and what people can expect to see along their water trail tour.
In other Mason County tourism news, all of the tourism numbers are up for this year. Next year, Bellamy shared the city will be visited by four steamboats.
Coming up at the end of this month, the Travel Channel show “Expedition Unknown” will be shooting a Mothman segment in the city. The filmmakers will even be using locals as extras for the segment. Bellamy commented Point Pleasant is the most filmed place in West Virginia.
Point Pleasant is also going to be added as a destination to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
The commission approved to give Mason County Tourism $3,000 for advertising purposes.
In other business, the commissioners approved to hire Alan Miles on an as needed basis for telecommunications at the Mason County 911 center.
Cromley discussed with the commissioners a training she went to led by the Secretary of the State. One major lesson was the use of propaganda through different forms of media as a way of attack used by outsiders to the U.S. These sort of attacks are meant to cause a state of disorder.
The commissioners approved a resolution allowing Gerlach to participate in the state board of treasury investments.
The commissioners reported they are still working on appointments to the Mason County Protection Agency.
The commissioners approved to authorize President of the Commission Rick Handley to sign for the approval of a Juvenile Justice Grant in the amount of $63,000 and a Day Report Grant in the amount of $136,489.
The commissioners discussed the renewal of the lease of the building the members of the Coon Hunters Association use located near the Mason County fairgrounds. They are considering making the lease yearly, rather than for five-10 year terms.
The commissioners discussed the employees at the Mason County Animal Shelter as well as holding a special meeting with the employees. The commissioners approved to hire Racheal Casto for transportation twice a month at the same rate as the other staff transporter.
The Ethics Commission will have a training on the Ethics Act and the Open Meetings Act on Thursday, Aug. 29, 11:30 a.m. at the Mason County Career Center. Officials and employees of area counties and cities, members of county and city boards and commissions, and the public are invited to attend. The training will last approximately one hour and 15 minutes and a light lunch will be served. Registration is not required.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.